Semantics (centrifugal force)

I apologize for applying 1980’s physics and terms that I have been told are antiquated.

So any time you read one of my articles or watch a video and I use the term centrifugal force, replace it with club momentum or whatever other correct term applies.


😀 😀 😀

Whatever, there is a force that reacts on the club that will take it to the right places if you don’t screw it up with manipulations. Call it whatever you want.

I will call it Idiot Force. 😀

If you are not an idiot, it will force your club on plane and square.




  1. banchiline

    Stellar .
    While I’m here……..I’m not one to try every tip you hear (most chops are good at giving advice)but I was flippin channels before drifting off to sleep the other night & when I hit the GC A. Sorenstam was there & KT asked her what was the single most important piece of advice she ever had ? Anna says when she was about 16 her coach told her to let here head “turn with her spine” in her downswing”. She said right away she began hitting the ball straighter & higher and her flip went away. Got her off of her back foot.
    I have had mental issues with “turning through the shot while not getting in front of it” (gag)……….lots of pulls & out of sequence……..
    Anyway…….I said WTH & after work yesterday (greenskeeper here) I hit about 75 8 irons………just turning with Annika’s head move we have all seen.
    I haven’t hit the ball that straight in years….with the true loft working… not those low pulls……..

    • Monte Scheinblum

      I guess this dispels the notion to “keep your head down.”

      I hate that cliche.

      • banchiline

        I hate “keep yer head down” also……I think maybe I have tried SO hard to stay in my spine angle I was hanging back or at least keeping too much weight on that rear foot too long & the upper out running the lower with the face closed at impact………I’ll have to set up the Casio again ……
        Yesterday I “kept my head down” but my thought was to just let my eyes “follow” the ball rather quickly. Toe shot & pulls vanished……..

        sorry to jack this thread but I had to vent & wanted to do so here instead of the message board…

        Monte I’m gonna video soon & fire it to you for another couple of lessons……….

  2. Wally

    Monte No need to apologize. Picture a kid on a swing, he or she instinctively knows when and how to pump at the bottom to get the swing higher and higher. Now many moder golf instructors would show that kid “MUST DO” tips, after a while that poor kid would never be able to move that swing again
    On the other hand, you try to get golfer to do what the clubhead wants to do.

  3. John Mack

    There are only two sources of force in the golf swing. One is the force of gravity and the other is the muscular force supplied by our bodies.Gravity may help a bit in the downswing and with stabilty and of course it keeps us anchored to the ground.A moving clubhead will continue to move in the same direction and at the same speed unless acted upon by another force. (Newton) In the golf swing we both supply the force to move the clubhead and also continually alter its direction. At any one point in time the clubhead is trying to move in a straight line (a tangent to it’s roughly circular path.We are disturbing this straight line path and forcing it inwards to swing in a circle.(centripetal force) If we could swing a club so that it passed say 6 inches above the ball and travelling towards the target and could cut the clubhead off instantly at the hosel,the clubhead would try to keep travelling towards the target at just 6 inches above the ground and at the same speed. Of course in practice the clubhead would slow down due to friction with the air and be pulled down quite quickly to the ground by the for of gravity. There is no great force pulling outwards on our arms. I have heard golf instructors say that there is apull of many hundreds of pounds on our arms as we go through impact.Do you not think that if this were true we would feel it. Wouldn’t we fall flat on our faces. All this is not just a matter of semantics.It’s a matter of getting some of the basic science on which the golf swing depends put into the right perspective and to clear away some of the BS on which much golf instruction depends

    • Steve Bishop

      Great summation of things. Centripetal force exists, but centrifugal force is a feel that isn’t real. The concept of centrifugal force may help people, and I am all for whatever makes someone hit it better. But there are implications to what you’re saying that I don’t think people fully grasp. Unfortunately one of those is what Monte believes regarding “it will just align itself for you”. It’s not really the case.

      That being said, staying relaxed and swinging freely IS a major part of what I teach. Force ON PLANE is important and in many ways that feels like “centrifugal force pulling the club into alignment”.

      It’s a very complicated situation to even try to explain that usually ends up with golfers who are completely confused. That is why I don’t have any problems at all with people feeling like they’re letting “centrifugal force” do the work. My problem is when people claim it to be a “science backed” theory. That’s just plain bunk.

  4. Christian

    I’m with you on this one. So maybe there isn’t really a force pulling the clubhead out but there is an effect that makes, for example, water stay in a bucket while spinnning around. It was nice to have a name for the effect and then people started getting all excited about it not existing. Kind of like muscle memory. Yes, we all know that muscles don’t have tiny brains in them :-). But there is an effect of repeating an action many times that your body can perform the action without concious thought. It was nice to be able to just call that muscle memory…

  5. S.

    You say, “I use the term centrifugal force”

    So do I. It’s “an outward force on a body rotating about an axis.”

    In the first place, there is rotation in a golf swing.

    In the second place, there is a “body” rotating about an axis (arms, hands, and club).

    In the third place there is an axis…but that is tricky because it is constantly changing. Maybe a point on that axis would be somewhere between your arms.

    From Wikipedia: Centrifugal force (from Latin centrum “center” and fugere “to flee”) represents the effects of inertia that arise in connection with rotation and which are experienced as an outward force away from the center of rotation.

    So, maybe inertia is a better term than momentum.

    [The idea of “fictitious force” is involved with all of this, but I doubt that any readers of this blog could explain it, or how it applies to a golf swing.]

    • Mike Divot

      Even people trained in physics get into arguments about what centrifugal force is or isn’t. Look it up on some physics forums if you have the stomach. It will remind you of golfwrx.

      Monte, you are right to call it “idiot force”. That way people have to focus on your intent and not get sidetracked on the minutiae.

      Love your blog. More power to you!

  6. Bob S

    May the Idiot Force be with us!

  7. Huikai Liu

    i really could not say enough that how much i thank you for post those videos, love em , it they really works. great work~~~

  8. retired guy

    Who cares? We all know what he means.

    Monte, how about addressing the original guy’s question about maintaining spine angle without getting ahead? I know it requires a lateral spine tilt in the downswing, otherwise you swing like Dr. J with a big upper body sway. Any good drills for that?


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